Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sunday crafty goodness

At last a new sock monkey is ready for a home, and another one cut out. I've been out of stock for ages, and I think a few might sell if I bring them in to the office and upload a picture to the bulletin board. At the very least it might get people thinking about Christmas orders before the last minute (when I will not be able to accommodate any orders). Also I want to get some out there with a $20.00 price to get people used to the idea before Christmas. I have been letting them go a little too cheap for the amount of time they take. I will have to pick up a few more supplies pretty soon if there is any interest. I'm nearly out of socks and stuffing.

The weekend has been pretty low key. I was tired and slept in yesterday. Today we spent in the kitchen pursuing our hobbies. Shana cooked up a stew to take over to Nancy. I made the sock monkey, and Toll House Cookies and Banana/Mango bread to send. The Humps haven't been feeling great, and we enjoy the cooking even if we are not going to eat it. I did have two cookies, but since they are not "on my list" I do not want them to hang around. It's lovely to have the house smell of delicious food, and Shana loves to try new recipes. Since I'm on Weight Watchers I eat like the dog - the same small rotation of foods I like and that I know fall in my points. It makes it really easy for me, but no fun for the cook. Nancy sent me some Cukes and onions in vinegar (yum) and a whole lot of chocolate and butterscotch chips to use in future weeks' humanitarian cookies. Larry is having another surgery next month, and they have asked for "meals on wheels".

The laundry is done, the house is clean; we are now at the knitting and TV portion of the weekend. It would be one of my favorite times if it did not mean that the work week is just around the corner. This will be a week with overtime - deadline is Thursday, and I'm pretty sure I'll need a little extra time to make it. The upside of course is overtime - I could use a few extra bucks about the place, with Hotter N' Hell coming up at the end of August. Of course that means another trip to Texas....

Friday, July 28, 2006

Friday Friday Friday!!!

And a picture of the Amazing Roxanne - we're getting closer to a good picture. She has Devil Eyes, but is not hiding in a corner looking like I beat her senseless daily.

Home for the weekend at last. I've been so tired all week I didn't know what to do with myself. I was complaining about this yesterday morning. Shana thought I should go get my thyroid checked, or maybe I am not eating enough. DUH. Of course I am not eating enough - I am trying to get myself back into the confines of the height/weight charts. If I eat enough to maintain my body weight that's never going to happen. But it seems that's actually getting closer to the cause. Last weekend at the Dallas Farmer's Market I got a whole bunch of good tomatoes (and mangos, and peaches!) and I have been eating a tomato sandwich for dinner every night. Now this may be a dinner high in taste (and lycopene) but it seems it was too low in protein to balance my daily requirements. As soon as this occurred to me I ran down to the cafeteria and got a couple of hard boiled eggs. Problem solved. Turns out that aside from counting my points I really need to keep a close eye on nutrients. Not good news for the queen of junk food. I was thinking that I'd be alternately laying around, surfing the web and sleeping this weekend, but apparently I am riding up and down 40 miles of hills. I'd better boil more eggs!

One more picture from the Yarn Harlot's visit. It's me - at the yarn store waiting for my autograph. The angle of the photo makes me look like I have a hump, and confirms the almost total lack of neck that has plagued me all my life. Not flattering, alas, but proof I was there! Surprisingly, I was able to hang around the shop for about an hour without buying anything. Not that I need anything...

Alex is poised to move out on his own. The funny thing is that he's almost reached an arrangement with a potential roommate that involves a drastically lowered portion of the expenses in exchange for his services keeping the place clean. Please note the general appearance of his room below. Keep in mind that it looks that way from all angles. I only had the heart to photograph it from the door, due to fear of stepping into

something living. This is why when anyone visits my house the door to this room is closed. To be fair, he does swamp the place out if I expect to need the room for house guests. Alex would also be the one who waits for the cable man, plumber, etc. as needed. This I have reason to know he is perfectly capable of doing.

CNN has just devoted a few minutes to Bush and Blair blabbing on about their (bizarre, isolated)position on the crisis in Lebanon. The talking heads wasted no time analyzing the statements and moved right on to devote somewhat more time to another of Bush's engagements today - meeting with the American Idol contestants in the Oval Office. It's no wonder so many people are ignorant.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee came to Oklahoma City and I got to see her! My sock got to meet her sock! Turns out there are several knitters in Oklahoma City. They were all in Gourmet Yarn at the same time. Every one of them. The visit was a success, and I'm so glad I got to go. Stephanie's post about her visit to "The City" was a hoot, and made me think that although she was not here long she did "get" Oklahoma.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Dallas was a mixed bag. It tends to be our location for bad luck and misunderstandings, and this weekend was not the exception. The excitement started when we had the devil of a time finding some kind of lunch for Shana. Arby's gave her a sandwich with mayo - lucky for me because I got it. The only food we saw on the way down the road was a Burger King with literally three parking places, customers 15 deep at the counter, and a car with a flat tire in the drive through. At last we passed Robertson's and scored a great ham sandwich. Just across the state line we started arguing over politics, sparked by some billboards put up by a victim of Eminent Domain - in this case farm land condemned to facilitate the Winstar Casino . Shana suggested I might be Left Wing. I suggested she might be Full of Shit, and it went downhill from there. By the time we got to the Radisson we were in a state, and by the time we got to the room and started getting ready to go down to the pool I had lost my sunglasses and my Ipod (the best toy ever and my current favorite thing in the world).

We'd planned to hook up with our friends for dinner, but for some reason they decided to eat at 4:30. Plans were made to meet up "on the strip" later, but the timing gave us little time to get dinner before we met. We made the ill-fated decision to eat at the hotel, in the bar. The bartender was preoccupied with some gambling issues, after receiving our order for roast chicken and mashed potatoes, arrived (much) later with Teriyaki and pilaf - the two items that I most despise. It was inedible, and my ice tea was moldy. We were comped, and received tickets for a free breakfast buffet. Out we went to meet the gang.

Long story short - bars are as loud and smoky as I remembered. Drama is as irritating as I remembered, and one of the triathalon participants disappeared before the contest, much to the distress of the remaining athlete. Jack in the Box burgers are good after midnight, however.

Breakfast was as alarming as dinner (and we lost our free tickets) so we thought we'd pick something up on the way. Not happening . How can you drive for several miles in a major city without passing food? Luckily the Mariott was across from the venue, and the breakfast sandwiches were delicious. Thank you Shana for your persistence!

The Iron Girl Triathalon was terrific, and great fun to watch. Our friend finished in good time.

Dallas Farmers' market was good (although predictably, Shana ordered an inedible dish at the Mexican restaurant in the vicinity). We came back to the city with tomatoes, mangos, peaches, and tea.

We also stopped at Richardson Bike Mart
I'd love to be visiting there with more time and money to spare. Their selection of bicycles and accessories is overwhelming. Now that I am home I wish I had picked up the camelback water bottle
I saw it later on line and it's exactly what I want. I HATE my current Polar water bottle. Oh well, live and learn. I'll probably pick one up at Pro Bike. We did buy a bottle of laundry detergent especially formulated for getting out sweat smell. Just what I need for my yoga gear, as well as our bike shorts.

Car knitting proceeded apace, and I'm almost done with the zebra socks. Harlot tomorrow!!!!!!

Friday, July 21, 2006

We're still "enjoying" the heat today, high of 110 likely but with a chance of rain tonight. This has bad implications for the humidity level. Hot weather is hard on the plants, especially the potted items doomed to grow in the hottest part of the yard. Shana has been scrupulous with the watering around the pool and the result is delighted hibiscus. Persona non Grata is thrilled with daily watering. This may become a problem when it is time to take the dainty creature inside for the winter. Alex cringes when I start talking about moving it.

I had to frog the cable sock and start over. The excitement of the Tour de France made me go to the the wrong needle not once but twice. After tinking back 64 stitches of cables I got ready to reknit, only to notice a giant float on the inside where I had started up on the wrong needle in still another place. It was three rows down and I just couldn't face it. The cables were not showing up well on the yarn anyway, so I'm going to go with a 2x2 rib - car knitting for the trip to Richardson tomorrow to watch some athletic friends do the Iron Girl Triathalon . I've never seen one before, and will NEVER do one. It should be great fun to see. I hope I'll be able to catch the Tour de France time trials tomorrow before we go.

I live in hope of getting a good picture of the Evil Wild Dog of the Prairie to post, but her (perfectly rational) fear of lightening is working against me. When she sees the camera she's sure I am bringing the lightening, so I either get the Face of Fear or the backside of the escaping dog. Example at left is the Face of Fear worn by the Pitiful Mistreated Baby Angel. She's hiding behind a chair, where I have cornered her after a determined effort. Obviously this is not the picture which is going to demonstrate her good looks.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Still summer - shocking, I know. Shana and I had big plans to get out for a ride this evening, but when it's 105 at 6:30 pm that is so not on. I'll satisfy my bike self by watching the Tour de France.

We changed up the kitchen a bit this year - now that we've lived it for a while I feel like it looks like an actual room:

The kitchen table has been cancelled due to lack of interest. Instead a seating area and CRAFTS DESK are now in the space. My knitting books, magazines needles, notions, sewing machine, monkey supply box, and yarn stash have a home. Not to mention the odd bits of ribbon, rubber stamps, and crafty goodness of all kinds. Now that it's been in place a few months I can say it works very well. I've tried a few different kinds of projects in the space and it seems to be quite convenient. Also it allows me to enjoy Shana's company while I craft and she cooks. We had been pursuing our hobbies in different parts of the house, so we are both pleased with the result. The walls look a lot lighter in the pictures than they really are, but they are pink.

Turns out we have another knitter in the office, and one gal who wants to be led astray. Yarn Harlot comes to Oklahoma City next week and we're going to make it something of a group pilgrimage. That's four knitters I know of, a couple of cross stitchers, and at least one "hooker" besides myself. Maybe it's time to try the lunchtime St**ch and B**ch again. It might have a better chance of catching on now.

Weight Watchers was a disappointment this week - or maybe I should say I was a dosappointment. I only lost .2 lbs. Portion creep, I'm sure. I actually need to be dropping my portion size a little to get my points down to the next level. Back to work counting points at every meal. At least I haven't gained. I'm determined to get the rebate from the company.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Summer is really here. Every day this week will be scorching hot, and no rain in sight. It's hot enough now that Roxy is disinclined to run away during the day, but she gets a burst of wanderlust about 10 pm. Last night she revealed the new opossum resident in the yard. I thought there might be one, but had not yet seen it.

In cycling news, Norman Conquest was amazingly brutal. Never believe that "some hills" is synonymous with "a few gentle rollers and one big scary hill". It is NOT. It is quite possible that the entire 26 mile course is uphill At about the halfway point I began to doubt that I would actually be able to finish. I had started the ride by myself, as Shana was not feeling up to the heat. This would have maybe been OK, but we had arrived so late that I started on the course long after my group and did not even see any other cyclists for several miles. It's a bit easier to keep up sprits and effort with company. Fortunately by the time I was sure I would be found dead at the side of the road I had hooked up with some friends and the encouragement helped a lot. I finished strong, but when I got off the bike I had rubbery legs. I had signed up for this one because I really needed to do some hills - be careful what you wish for!

I finished a pair of socks Saturday, Online Supersocke 100 colorway Fun, pitiful dark picture above. Plain old stockinette. They were my Ardmore Roadkill Ralley socks, to be knit in the car while talking. I cast on for another pair yesterday. This time it will be Dancing, from Knitpicks, in a pink and purple colorway. The socks will be cables, on 64 stitches. I'm hoping my skill with cables will improve, and my speed. Two shawls on the needles - the Kimono Shawl from Folk Shawls, and the Triangles within Triangles Shawl from Heartstrings. Neither one is exactly burning up the needles. It's just too hot.